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Report: First destination after undergraduate degree

Our FIRST DESTINATION REPORT is based on our survey of new graduates of each academic year. We ask their first destination after the undergraduate degree; whether working, continuing education, in military service, volunteering, or seeking. We also ask about their career preparation. The survey stays open for six months after commencement. The report is published the winter after the survey closes.


Graduation year reports
Data for university, colleges, and majors.

Select a year to view menu and choose report for university, a college, or a major:

All report information is subject to correction and updating.

About report timing:

For graduates of an academic year, reports are compiled after the survey closes. The survey remains continuously open through six months after May commencement. This enables us to publish the report by March of the year following commencement.

You can also read:

Highlights of university and college data
with selected multi-year data

All highlight information is subject to correction and updating.

About response percentages and numbers:

  • Total university response is usually above 50%, 
  • Why were 2019-2020 response rates lower? See COVID-19 impact on 2019-2020 survey timeline and response rate.
  • College population numbers vary greatly. University data are influenced by colleges with larger populations of respondents. For example, in 2020-2021, seven colleges graduated undergraduate students, but 30% of respondents were from the College of Engineering.
  • Major population numbers vary greatly. College data are influenced by majors with larger populations of respondents. For example, 2020-2021 grads represented 13 majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, but one major, human nutrition, foods, and exercise (HNFE), comprised 40% of the respondents for that college.
  • Major data are in the academic year reports, above.

Total university and colleges. Four years.
Response rates. Undergraduate degree recipients.

First destination survey response rates |
Undergraduate degree recipients
2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Total university 55%
N=3789
31%
N=2113
64%
N=4737
56%
N=3968
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences 45%
N=404
21%
N=154
59%
N=445
52%
N=369
College of Architecture & Urban Studies
(new name for this college effective after data years shown)
48%
N=216
28%
N=112
63%
N=274
53%
N=216
College of Business 63%
N=769
53%
N=611
69%
N=921
62%
N=825
College of Engineering 62%
N=1155
30%
N=562
70%
N=1435
59%
N=1165
College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences 49%
N=583
23%
N=267
60%
N=794
56%
N=631
College of Natural Resources & Environment 63%
N=186
28%
N=78
60%
N=178
54%
N=143
College of Science 50%
N=476
28%
N=329
59%
N=690
51%
N=591
College of Veterinary Medicine NA NA NA 52%
N=28

TOTAL UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGES, SINGLE YEAR 2020-2021
RESPONSE BAR GRAPH

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Total university. Four years.
First destination of respondents. Undergraduate degree recipients.

First destination of respondents |
Undergraduate degree recipients
2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Response rate 55%
N=3789
31%
N=2113
64%
N=4737
56%
N=3968
Working 60%
N=2261
64%
N=1352
50%
N=2349
57%
N=2276
Continuing education 17%
N=633
16%
N=343
19%
N=919
18%
N=714
Military 3%
N=99
2%
N=45
3%
N=147
2%
N=99
Volunteering 1%
N=33
1%
N=16
1%
N=25
0%
N=14
Seeking work 16%
N=617
13%
N=282
21%
N=982
17%
N=666
Seeking continuing education 3%
N=127
3%
N=64
6%
N=293
5%
N=189
Not seeking 1%
N=19
1%
N=11
0%
N=22
0%
N=10

What about your major? Major and college data are in the academic year reports, above.

Grads who reported seeking (work or continuing education) could update their responses any time until the survey closed.

TOTAL UNIVERSITY, SINGLE YEAR 2020-2021
FIRST DESTINATION BAR GRAPH

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About first destination variance by colleges

  • Colleges and majors have varied patterns in first destinations of respondents. 
  • Three colleges, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and Science, typically have a quarter to a third of respondents indicate continuing education as a first destination after the bachelor's degree.
  • As a college, Business typically has the lowest percentage of continuing education, as compared to other colleges. However, a major within that college, accounting, typically has high levels of continuing education (25-30% in the last three years).
  • Major and college data are in the academic year reports, above.

COLLEGES, SINGLE YEAR 2020-2021
FIRST DESTINATION BAR GRAPH

On the graph:

  • Employed includes working (50% total univ.), U.S. military (3% total univ.), volunteering (1% total univ.)
  • Continuing education is 19% total univ.
  • Seeking includes seeking employement (21% total univ.) seeking continuing education (6% total univ.), and not seeking (0% total univ.).
  • Percentages do not always sum to 100 due to rounding.

About continuing education details

  • Respondents who have been admitted to continuing education as a first destination after the undergraduate degree are asked to indicate the degree type and program of study they are pursuing, and the institution they will attend. 
  • Respondents who wish to continue education, but have not yet been admitted, should indicate on the survey they are seeking continued education. Those respondents can update their survey later if/when they are admitted.

Total university. Four years.
Continuing education percentages and degree types

Responses about continuing education | after undergraduate degree 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
N respondents admitted to continuing education 633 343 919 714
% respondents admitted to continuing education 17% 16% 19% 18%
% respondents still seeking continuing education 3% 3% 6% 5%
Admitted: degree type master's degree 11% 11% 13% TBD
Admitted: degree type doctoral degree 4% 4% 4% TBD
Admitted: other degree types, or non-degree, or did not provide degree type 2% 1% 1% TBD

BY COLLEGE: CONTINUING EDUCATION PERCENTAGES AND DEGREE TYPES

  • Continuing education percentages vary by college.

BY UNDERGRAD MAJOR: LIST OF GRADUATE DEGREES AND INSTITUTIONS

 

You can also view continuing education highlights for 2017-2018 grads and 2018-2019 grads.

2021-2022 graduates | undergraduate degree recipients
Employed respondents

By undergrad major: Employers, job titles, and locations list

 


Most-reported employers

 


2021-2022 graduates | undergraduate degree recipients
Employed respondents

About salary and bonus data

  • Employed graduates (working and military) are asked to report salary and bonus.
  • We report median (the value in the middle) and not mean (the average) because the median is more reliable.
    Averages are skewed by outliers.
    Medians provide a more realistic picture.
    Particularly with self-reported data, errors and inaccuracies occur, making averages more subject to being skewed.
  • Medians are shown when four or more individuals reported salary or bonus.
  • 25th and 75th percentiles are shown when 12 or more individuals reported salary or bonus.
  • View salary table with data for university, each college, and each major.
  • View bonus table with data for university, each college, and each major.
  • Each of those tables have links to view data for prior years.
  • Salary and bonus data for each college and major are also in the academic year reports.

Total university. Four years.
Salary and bonus data highlights.

  2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
% of employed who did NOT report salary 17% 24% 29% 30%
% of employed who DID report salary 83% 76% 71% 70%
N who reported salary 1968 1064 1768 1667
Salary median $61,800 $64,000 $63,000 $66,560
% of employed who received a bonus 31% 30% 23% 27%
N who received a bonus 741 418 564 640
Bonus median $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000

TOTAL UNIVERSITY, THREE YEARS
HOW EMPLOYED GRADS FOUND JOB

Grads were asked: 
Regarding the job you accepted: Which best describes the way you first made contact with this employer?
Select one response.

Please note this question is not asking about all the job search methods used. 
Data for each major and college is in the academic year reports, above.

First contact with employer whose job grad accepted 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
Worked / volunteered with employer in the past 12% 10% 10%
Knew or met employer through someone I know / networking 16% 14% 14%
Career fair 22% 26% 26%
Handshake (job posting platform used by Virginia Tech career center for employers to post jobs for VT students) 7% 6% 6%
Employer interviewed in Smith Career Center (On-Campus Interviewing Program) 1% 3% 2%
Went directly to employer's website 10% 9% 9%
Used a job-seeker website other than Handshake 11% 12% 7%
Info posted or messaged from my academic department 4% 2% 2%
Employer spoke at a presentation I attended 2% 2% 1%
Did not answer 14% 15% 21%

 

 

TOTAL UNIVERSITY, THREE YEARS
JOB RELATED TO CAREER GOALS AND MAJOR

Employed grads were asked:
Do you consider your job to be related to your career goals? 

Job related to career goals 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
Very 62% 60% 60%
Somewhat 23% 24% 18%
Not 3% 3% 2%
Did not answer 12% 13% 19%

Employed grads were asked:
Do you consider your job to be related to your college major?

Job related to college major 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
Very 61% 56% 58%
Somewhat 21% 26% 18%
Not 6% 5% 5%
Did not answer 12% 13% 19%

To see major and college data, see reports by academic year, above.


TOTAL UNIVERSITY, THREE YEARS
LEARNED JOB SEARCH SKILLS | SOURCES OF LEARNING | USED CAREER CENTER

 

Grads were asked:
Which best describes the extent to which you learned job search skills during college?

Learned job search skills during college: 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
I learned most that I needed 29% 27% 28%
I learned some, but not all, that I needed 50% 42% 46%
I learned nothing, or very little 9% 10% 8%
Did not answer 11% 20% 18%

 

Grads were asked:
If you learned job search skills, where did you learn them? Check all that apply.

SOURCES OF LEARNING JOB SEARCH SKILLS 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
Career and Professional Development; advising, presentations, website, etc. 37% 34% 34%
Career Planning Guide; online booklet created by CPD. 9% 12% 13%
Other books, magazines, print materials. 7% 6% 7%
Websites external to Virginia Tech. 39% 33% 36%
Academic-credit course in my major or college. 33% 28% 29%
Not-for-credit program in my major or college. 5% 5% 4%
Advisors, staff, professors in my major or college. 43% 38% 39%
Other VT advisors, staff, professors, NOT in my major or college. 12% 12% 11%
Employers, mentors at jobs, internships. 48% 47% 48%
Parents, adult relatives, family friends. 56% 47% 52%
Peers. 47% 44% 46%
Did not answer 16% 20% 16%

 

Grads were asked:
As you recall: During college, did you use any resources provided by the Virginia Tech career center? (could include advising, workshops, website, Handshake, employment interviews, etc.)

Used career center during college: 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
Never 18% 13% 16%
Don't recall or unsure 12% 8% 11%
Yes, but not often 50% 46% 48%
Yes, often 10% 12% 8%
Did not answer 10% 20% 16%

To see major and college data, see reports by academic year, above.


TOTAL UNIVERSITY, THREE YEARS
EXPERIENCE DURING COLLEGE

Did you have any type of career-related experience during college? 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
Yes 76% 71% 75%
No 14% 7% 10%
Did not answer 10% 22% 16%
Grads who wished they had gotten more experience during college (from REGRETS below)
36% 23% 31%
What types of experience did you have? Check all that apply. 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
Volunteer work 23% 18% 22%
Part-time job 30% 24% 27%
Summer job 29% 25% 29%
Unpaid internship 14% 11% 14%
Paid internship 53% 58% 56%
Co-op 5% 5% 5%
Undergraduate research 21% 19% 20%
Field study 10% 6% 9%
Did not answer 23% 28% 24%
Number of PAID internships during college 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
One 23% 25% 24%
Two 15% 20% 18%
Three 7% 7% 7%
Four or more 3% 3% 2%
Not applicable or did not answer 53% 45% 48%
Number of UNPAID internships during college 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2018
One 13% 11% 13%
Two 3% 3% 3%
Three 1% 1% 1%
Four or more 0% 0% 0%
Not applicable or did not answer 83% 86% 83%

To see major and college data, see reports by academic year, above.


TOTAL UNIVERSITY, THREE YEARS
REGRETS ABOUT CAREER PREPARATION DURING COLLEGE

Graduates were asked:
If you could start over in college, is there anything you would do differently related to career planning?

If you could start over in college, is there anything you would do differently related to career planning? 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
No. Mostly I did what I needed to achieve my goals. 38% 28% 38%
Yes, I would do something differently. 52% 35% 46%
Did not answer. 10% 26% 16%

 

Graduates were asked:
If yes (to above) check all that apply, to "I wish I had..."

I wish I had: (check all that apply) (top regrets in bold) 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
Learned more, or earlier, about career options. 37% 26% 33%
Learned more, or earlier, about graduate or professional school. 21% 14% 18%
Asked advisors, staff, professors for advice, earlier, or more often. 30% 20% 27%
Gotten more experience related to my major or career goals. 36% 23% 31%
Started my job search earlier. 28% 17% 23%
Used more or different job search resources. 17% 12% 14%
(Did not check any regrets) 43% 62% 48%

To see major and college data, see reports by academic year, above.